It’s about time the basketball world embraced the gospel of Kevon Looney

Kevon Looney has arrived, and his era has officially begun, folks.

The big man for the Warriors has now established career highs in both rebounds (22 against the Grizzlies in Game 6) and points (21 on Friday night) in two of the previous three games. Friday was the third night in a row that he had an outstanding performance.

Since Robert Parish in 1977, no other Warriors centre has had a 20-10 line in the playoffs until now. His 21 points and 12 rebounds are the first 20-10 line for a Warriors centre in the postseason. That is some extremely high-caliber company.

Because Looney has such a laid-back demeanour, it’s difficult to avoid making jokes about him. The element of surprise is present every time he has games like the ones he had on Friday, Wednesday, and the Friday before that.

Looney has never been the kind to pad his stat sheet. He puts in a lot of effort, does things the correct way, and brings to the game a level of intelligence together with a degree of physicality that gives him a consistently good influence on the game.

However, due to the fact that he has never drawn attention to himself either on or off the court, there is a propensity for him to be regarded as a character of secondary importance.

It’s possible to comprehend some of what you said. The likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are on the same squad as him. They brought on new players, namely Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins.

This lineup has a lot of players with flashier abilities. And after a 2019-20 season that was sidetracked by a neuropathy disease, as well as some injuries in the subsequent year, there were worries as to whether or not Looney would ever continue his upward trajectory, let alone his career.

But, surprise, surprise, it turned out that Looney was the Warriors’ iron man for this season. He is the only player on their roster who has participated in each and every game, and his influence has never been as significant as it is right now.

He led the Warriors to victory in Game 6, which was acknowledged by all parties involved to be an absolute must-win, regardless of whether or not the Grizzlies would have Ja Morant available in Game 7. The Warriors were prevented from returning to Memphis.

Looney established the tone for the game and drove the Warriors to an NBA best this season of 70 rebounds, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the 1980s. His 22 rebounds were distributed evenly across both ends of the court.

It was a display reminiscent of Dennis Rodman’s, with the exception that Looney is not even close to the athleticism that Rodman was. He is dexterous with his body, with the angles he takes, and with the timing he chooses in a way that cannot be adequately defined.

It is mesmerising to watch him play when he is in top form, as he was in Game 6 and as he has continued to be in the two games that have followed.

It is quite invigorating to slam an opponent with old guy, YMCA-style physicality in a game that is increasingly defined by quickness and shooting.

The YMCAnimal is the best I could come up with as a nickname for Looney, but his matter-of-factness belies the fact that he probably wouldn’t feel comfortable adopting that moniker. It seems like Looney deserves a nickname, and the YMCAnimal is the best I could come up with.

Even though he is currently in the midst of what is likely the most fruitful stretch of his professional career, he manages to maintain an outstanding “just another day at the job” attitude.

Looney acknowledged that his father, Doug, was the primary influence in laying the groundwork for his professional career.

Looney noted that he learned this trait “from my dad really growing up” and “seeing him work seven days a week and never complain about anything.” “All you have to do is go to work, punch in, punch out, and then return home, and you’ll still have plenty of time for me and my family.” It was something that I picked up from him, and that was how to conduct myself in a professional manner.

He is the type of person that simply goes about his business and takes care of everything that is required of him.

There is strategy involved in the screens that the Warriors set up in order to throw off the defenders for that additional half second that players like Curry and Poole require in order to drive or set up a step back. He has become more and more capable at defending against players of all different types.

There are very few players in the NBA that you could argue Looney couldn’t handle, and this has caused issues for Luka Doncic, even when he scores 42 points, at least in terms of consistently harassing him and making it more difficult for him to make plays.

In addition to this, there is a significant potential for him to assist when he secures an offensive rebound or finds himself in the post. Over the course of the last few games, he has spotted Draymond Green slashing to the basket on a multitude of occasions.

Then, on nights like Friday, when he’s the only true big man on the floor and a team like the Mavericks doesn’t have the size, capability, or will to shut him down, he is clever enough both from the perspective of his basketball IQ and as a finisher to tally 21 points. In other words, he is able to finish.

On January 8, 2015, Looney scored 27 points and 19 points for UCLA against Stanford. This was the last time he scored 20 or more points in a game. That’s an insane line, but the way he’s playing right now, it’s not out of the question for him to find a tally like that, so it’s not out of the question at all.

Fans of the Golden State Warriors admire all of the hard work, hustle, and “I’m not quicker than you, but I want it more than you” effort that Looney has displayed ever since he entered this league. Looney’s motto has always been “I’m not quicker than you, but I want it more than you.”

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